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Colorado Amateur Call License Plates

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AB0L
 AB0L
(@3d0g)
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Since I just went through this today, I thought I'd pass along some tips.

First, don't bother filling out form DR 2810 and mailing it in (the old process). The state will just kick it back to you with a letter telling you to go to your county DMV office.

Next, don't bother trying to use the new online vanity plate ordering system. It doesn't work for Amateur Call plates.

Your experience at the county DMV will likely depend on how many hams they've seen in the past 4-5 months since this process was dropped in their laps. In Elbert, I got the privilege of being the first. Took three clerks a good 20 minutes to figure it out. As zeros are not allowed on normal Colorado license plates, they struggled to get the system to accept my call. If you run into the same at your DMV, you might want to offer that the "plate type" must be changed. Apparently that's not something they normally do and in that drop-down is an option for "Amateur Call". Then they'll be able to enter a zero, if needed. Remember to bring a signed copy of your FCC license (they'll scan it), your drivers license, and proof of insurance.

You'll pay whatever vehicle property taxes are due pro-rated to the current month plus a $2 fee for the tags. Plates will be mailed with new stickers in 10 days or so. Lastly, I asked the clerks if there was any vehicle restrictions for Amateur Call plates and they said they didn't think so. Should be possible for motorcycles, trailers/campers too, if so inclined.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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Brian
(@fbrian)
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Wow!  What a challenge.  Thanks Jeff for paving the way for the rest of us in Elbert County.

Brian
K0FBS


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Scott AK6Q
(@ak6q)
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I had a similar experience at the Douglas County Registrars office last week while I was registering my truck here in Colorado.  I unfortunately could not produce my signed FCC license as I had forgotten it.  They were up to speed on creating the license and told me the cost would be $50 for the new plate and if you chose a specialty background there is an additional fee for those.  I forgot to ask if there was an annual additional fee for this type of plate for each renewal.

 

Scott AK6Q

Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8


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AB0L
 AB0L
(@3d0g)
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Topic starter  

Hmm, that doesn't sound right. Amateur call plates are not vanity. They're a special plate like "farm truck", "street rod", "us senator", etc. The fee is $2. No special backgrounds are allowed. Classic green / white mountain plate only.

I guess non-zero region calls could technically do a standard vanity plate on any of the flavors Colorado makes, but yeah, that's $60 + $25/year. No-go for anyone with a "0" call though as Colorado doesn't allow zeroes on non-amateur plates.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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Scott AK6Q
(@ak6q)
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That's great news on the cost savings!!!   The kid at the registrars office was a little unsure of himself with this as he had only done one a couple of weeks ago.    I will follow up when I get my plates.   Thanks.

 

Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8


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AB0L
 AB0L
(@3d0g)
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Topic starter  

Update: The machine that prints CO vanity plates broke down. Earliest it will be back in operation is mid-April. DMV sent me a nice letter to show the cops when I get pulled over with expired tags in the meantime. 🤣 

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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JSB
 JSB
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Very helpful info, Jeff! Will be incredibly useful if I go that route. Didn't know those are actually Amateur Call plates. I thought they were just the vanity plates.

John

W0JNY


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Sasquatch
(@sasquatch)
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Do you have to own the vehicle?  Several years back I tried to obtain callsign plates on a leased vehicle but was told I had to own the vehicle.  Apparently, leasing a car is not considered owning it so DMV turned me down.  Is this still true?

 

73 de N0RDE  Jon


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AB0L
 AB0L
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Topic starter  

Call the Colorado DMV but I'm 99.9% certain leased vehicles can have personalized plates as long as the lease is in your name. Not sure if it's a company owned vehicle.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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AE2L
 AE2L
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The license plate type is SCL - stands for "Social Call Letters" .


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KØWAV
(@k0wav-73)
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Hello all,

Thought I would drop a note covering my recent April 2021 experience (Douglas County Style, other counties may vary slightly).

Douglas County can only process this request in person at one of their three locations (check website for locations and hours)  https://www.douglas.co.us/motorvehicle/

The Cost

If you are combining a Plate Renewal and Call Letter License Plate purchase the total cost will be your tag renewal fee + call letter plate fee. 

      New vehicle registration will require addition steps and processes not covered here.

Registration Fee: = $???.?? (Based on you individual situation)
Plus
Call Letter License Plate Fee
    Fee breakdown:

  • Call Letter Plate = $2.00
  • Clerk Fee = $4.00
  • Material Fee (Month Tab) = $0.15
  • Material Fee (Plate) = $7.69
  • Material Fee (Year Tab) = $0.22
  • Total = $14.06

NOTE: While the DMV does accept Credit/Debit cards as a form of payment they will tack on almost 8% "Portal Administration Fee" so if you can remember how to write a check, it will save you some money! Especially if you are paying your renew fees!!

To renew and get Call Letter Plate you will need four items:
1) Renewal Card you received in the Mail from DMV
2) Proof of Emissions Compliance (either passed the test or exemption document)
3) Photocopy of Amateur License (photocopy will stay with DMV)
4) Although they should provide Colorado Department of Revenue form #2810 (DR2810)*, but my suggestion is have it filled in advance (Most DMV employees have little to no experience with Call Letter Plates and this form to refer to can help smooth out the process.) politely direct them to the next to last Option in Step#3 of the form titled "Call Letter License Plate".

Tips and Tricks:

The Call Letter License Plate is handled via the same form and process as personalized tags, however it is NOT a Personalized (Vanity) Plate.  The Vanity plate is what most DMV personnel are used to dealing with, be patient and explain you are not requesting the traditional personalized plate, but instead are requesting a Call Letter License Plate with your Amateur Call Letters.

Catch phrases to indicate they are working a Vanity plate instead of a Call Letter Plate:

  • "Do you want the standard background or a Designer Background?"  [Call Letter Plates are standard background plates only]
  • For those of us with Zero-land call-signs you may hear this "I'm sorry it won't let me enter a Zero in your plate number." [Zeros are only permitted on Call Letter License Plates] So if they cannot enter a zero they are working on the wrong kind of plate.

*Link to the Colorado Department of Revenue form 2810 (DR2810)    https://cdn.dmv.com/images/DR2810.pdf

Time Line (How long did it take to get plates?)

I put in for my plates on 28th of April, 2021 and received them via USPS on 8th of May, 2021 (Envelope was postmarked 5th of May, 2021). Given this I would take a week or two, however DMV clerk indicated it could take up to 60 days!

🤨 Useless bit of trivia - These plates were once referred to as Social Call Letter plates; you can still see the remnants of this on the current plate as indicated by the initials  S C L on the left hand side of the plate.

I would like to thank all of those that have posted here and supplied their experiences and tips and tricks.  Their information was a big benefit to walking into the process with information in hand and so expectation of what pitfalls to be wary of.

Again this was just my experience your mileage may vary.

Keep that squelch loose and 73!

Lightning Strikes! Turning RF signals into smoke signals for over 100 years!


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Scott AK6Q
(@ak6q)
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Thanks Scott.... I am tossing around getting a new 0 call sign and then ordering my Plates..... 

 

 

Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8


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Tim Russell
(@nr0d)
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Pretty sure the "SCL" stands for "Special Communication License", though, at least that's what I was told at one point.


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Jeff Karpinski
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There's definitely some confusion over what "SCL" stands for. I've heard "Social Call Letters" a number of times but nowhere on the Colorado DMV site is this verified, and there's only 1 (ONE!) search hit for '"social call letters" colorado' on google - some rando's old blog page.

I saw the DMV plate registration screen on the computer with my own two eyes when helping the clerks figure it out in Elbert County and it only said "Amateur Call."

There's a number of hams on the qrz forums who say they were told by the DMV it means "Special Call Letters."

Then there's an engineer who worked for KUSA, who had a CCL license, who said SCL means "Station Call Letters."

I like the last one best so I tell people it's "Station Call Letters" now when they ask. 😉 

 


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Tim Russell
(@nr0d)
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Well it would appear I was wrong thinking that the "CL" part stood for "Communications License", because the Colorado DMV page has two entries for callsign plates: one called "Amateur Call Letter" that describes our plates, and another for radio and TV licensees that calls theirs "Commercial Call Letter" and those plates have "CCL" on them instead of "SCL".

So it would appear the only thing left is the "S" part.  Sigh.

Showerthought: I wonder if those automated license plate scanners that some scummy companies troll parking lots with know how to decode slashed zeros.  Rather ironic if one could give up their privacy by emblazoning their call sign on their vehicle, and in return gain privacy by foiling automated license plate readers!

 


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